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Top 5 Reasons to try American Q ~ by Sharon Judy

Published May 28, 2015 by

So many people love a great Bar-B-Que restaurant – and there are tons to choose from in the Disney area. So why should you try American Q Restaurant at the B Resort near Disney Springs?  


I could probably go on forever, but for now, here are my top 5 reasons!

1. Excellent Guest Service!

Our waitress made sure that we were well taken care of the whole evening. She kept our glasses full and would check back to make sure our food was to our liking. She was great about giving us suggestions on what to order, including letting us know her favorites and why she liked them. Our cowboy carvers were also kind, sweet, and very knowledgeable about what they were carving. 




The meats and chicken you will eat here are locally sourced with no hormones or steroids, and they are all grass fed. Even the eggs they use at American Q come from free range chickens.  


Chef Justin let us know that he makes frequent trips to the farms to make sure the food is up to the quality that they expect. When you visit American Q on Swine and Spirits Wednesdays you will enjoy pork from a pig that was chosen very carefully and has come from the same bloodline as the last pig. That way the meat has a consistent quality and taste – every time you visit.

2. Lots of Choices for Picky Eaters!

It all starts with the ’51 Ford F1 Flatbed Truck Buffet. How cool is that?!

There are unlimited soups, salads, baked potato and meat carvings that you can choose from – and it’s all you care to eat. What is especially nice is the cowboy carvers bring the meat to your table to enjoy. Wednesdays at American Q brings the Swine and Spirits menu. Guests can enjoy the buffet and a complimentary beverage that changes out weekly is also included in the price. There is also an additional carving of Tangerine and Whiskey Brined Suckling Pig.

Even if buffets aren’t usually your thing,  there is a regular menu to choose from as well. I had the Texas Bark Beef Brisket. It was so good! It had an excellent smoky beef flavor and was fork tender. 

My daughter Emily had the Q Burger with pepper jack cheese and cross cut fries. This burger was huge – definitely big enough to be shared -and it came out cooked to perfection!

3. They have a wonderful selection of adult beverages!

We sampled the Moscow Mule, Carribbean Passion Picante and Pineapple Mojito.


My absolute favorite is the Moscow Mule. It has a very distinct ginger flavor that I love. It is made with vodka, pickled ginger juice and ginger beer, but the ginger flavor was not overpowering. It reminded me of a not so fizzy gingerale with a kick. The other 2 drinks are on the sweeter side.  The Pineapple Mojito is exactly like you would expect it to be, with the flavor of pineapple and mint. The Caribbean Passion was very sweet and fruity – with a spicy flavored finish.

4.Valet parking is free with dinner!

Now who wouldn’t love that? When you are seated, your server stamps your card that the valet driver gives you. After your meal, just hand this back to your valet driver, and he will fetch your car. No need to get caught in the rain.

5. Super cute and elegantly rustic decor!

I love that the buffett is on a flatbed truck!!! It feels like you are right at home on an upscale farm.

   These were my top 5 reasons to visit American Q – but be sure to give them a try so you can come up with your own list! Please visit American Q on Facebook at

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2014 at Raglan Road

Published March 2, 2014 by

Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival – March 7-17, 2014
Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Raglan Road? Downtown Disney is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with live music, a step-by-step Irish jig workshop, classic Irish food and drinks, Irish storytellers, Irish history and merchandise at Raglan Road’s Shop. The luck of the Irish is sure to be with  you!

Featured musical performances:
Elevation – U2 tribute band: 3/15 and 3/17/14
We Banjo 3 – combination of Irish sounds and old-time American bluegrass: 3/7-3/9 and 3/15-3/17/14
3 Dollar Band – folk music: 3/14-317/14
Goitse – 5-piece band playing Irish melodies: 3/11 – 3/17/14
The Raglan Rebels – Raglan Road house band: daily
The Brayzen Heads – This duo plays traditional Irish and modern music: daily
Creel – Raglan Road house band: daily
West Coast Trio – Trio from Ireland’s West Coast, accompanied by accordians, flutes and whistles: daily

Featured Dance Offerings:
Raglan Road Dancers – 15-minute pop-up performances will take place daily all around Downtown Disney
Irish Dance Workshops – Taught by Ronan McCormack and the Raglan Road Dancers: 3/15 – 3/17/14

Featured food and drink offerings:
Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant – Irish, European and American beers, plus modern cuisine from Master Chef Kevin Dundon. Raglan Road pop-up locations will be throughout Downtown Disney.
Paradiso 37 – Irish cocktails, like The Giant Leprechaun
Planet Hollywood – Festive foods and specialty drinks
Bongos – Seasonal food and beverage items
T-Rex – Featured food items and specialty beverages, like the Candy Apple Cotton-Tini
Portobello – Fiddler’s Dream (mixed with Jameson honey simple syrup, Fever Tree ginger beer and a splash of lemonade)
Fulton’s Crab House – Limey Leprechaun (Cuervo Gold, Midori, pineapple juice, sour mix and ice)
Wolfgang Puck Cafe – Shamrock Martinis (mixed with Midori, green creme de mint, ice cream and a chocolate swirl)
Food trucks – Fisherman’s Pie, St. Patrick’s-themed cupcakes with shamrock sprinkles
Forty Thirst Street – Irish Coffee

Festival of the Masters ~ Activity Times, Locations and Bonus Tips!

Published October 24, 2013 by

Festival of the Masters

At last, fall is in the air, and the 38th annual Festival of the Masters is back November 8-10 in 2013. Festival of the Masters is one of the premier gatherings of artists in the Southeast with it’s one-of-a-kind and limited-edition paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry and more.
Listen to the live music and enjoy hands-on fun for all ages. And this year, artistic cocktails take a front seat with a new twist called “Mixers and Masters,” with dining locations featuring specialty drinks for sipping and strolling. Look for feather banners to indicate which restaurants will be participating, with each cocktail priced separately.
Three times a day you can stop by “The Art of Mixology” at the Waterside Stage, with experts showing what goes into making an artfully delicious cocktail during each 10-minute demo.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. November 8 and 9, and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on November 10. Admission and parking are free. Valet parking will be offered for $15 or if you are a Tables in Wonderland cardholder, you can valet for free with a qualifying meal receipt. Don’t forget to tip your valet!



CHALK ART: Chalk Artists will transform more than 1,000 square feet in the Marketplace and West Side into a colorful display of art.

FINE ART MASTERS: Throughout Downtown Disney® West Side, you’ll find over 150 award winning Fine Artists, including original, one of a kind, and limited-edition painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glass, wood, and more.
Emerging Masters: Come see more than 20 up-and-coming artists located in the Marketplace.

HOUSE OF BLUES FOLK ART FESTIVAL: “Where the Art Meets the Soul” Featuring more than 30 local and national folk artists, located on the West Side near House of Blues®. In addition to the art displays, guests can enjoy live musical performances by regional blues musicians Friday and Saturday night in the restaurant, as well as a variety of Southern dishes whipped up from the House of Blues kitchen daily, opening at 11:30am.

ART OF DISNEY: Come visit the flagship art gallery at the Marketplace full of art from the Disney Masters! Artist appearances will be scheduled throughout the weekend.

DISNEY ARTIST VILLAGE: Visit  Disney Artist Village on the West Side where you will find a wide array of art featuring your favorite Disney characters. Meet the artists behind these works of art throughout the weekend. The Disney Artist Village is located between Cirque du Soleil® theater and House of Blues®.

D STREET at Downtown Disney® West Side: Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Vinylmation™ all weekend long at D Street with the new, limited edition figure celebrating this milestone event. Disney Design Group Artist, Thomas Scott, will appear on Friday, November 8, from 10:00am – 12:00pm to sign the latest Vinylmation™ figure.


ART CHATS at the WATERSIDE STAGE!: during the day at the Waterside Stage, located in the Marketplace, there will be fun interactive chat shows about art and what art can be. Get exclusive behind the scenes details on the design development of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort with a Disney Artist.

LIVE PERFORMANCE ARTISTS!: Art comes alive as artists create a masterpiece on stage before your eyes, bringing their inspiration to life! Live shows with Disney Artists will be performed throughout the weekend at the Waterside Stage, located in the Marketplace.

CHILDREN’S CHALK ART: Back by popular demand, Children’s Chalk Art. Visit the Marketplace to find a section of walk to creatively chalk.

FAMILY ACTIVITIES: Enjoy family friendly activities provided by: Michaels®, LEGO®, Little MissMatched™, Rainforest Café®, Disney Interactive, and Festival of the Masters Children’s Chalk Art.

MICHAELS: The Michaels Design Team is excited to entertain and inspire you with fun interactive art and crafting experiences for the whole family located on the West Side.



Friday- 2:30pm-4:00pm and 5:00pm
Saturday- 11:00am-12:00pm, 2:00pm-3:30pm, and 4:30pm-5:30pm
Sunday- 11:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-2:30pm and 3:30pm-4:30pm

Enjoy appearances on the plaza between DisneyQuest and Cirque du Soleil by performers from La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil on Friday and Saturday between 4:00pm-4:15pm

Live Entertainment on the Front Porch throughout the Weekend

Live All Day Entertainment on Outdoor Patio throughout the Weekend

Live Entertainment Saturday and Sunday from 12:00pm-4:00pm on the Outdoor Patio and inside the restaurant on the Main Stage


  • Be on the lookout for special outdoor demonstrations of acrobatic artistry by performers from Cirque du Soleil.
  • Don’t forget your camera so you can create your own artistic photo memories.
  • Stop in the House of Blues Folk Art Festival – where there will be more earthy creations on display

Lava Lounge now Open in Downtown Disney Orlando

Published July 6, 2013 by
Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

I was super excited to get to check out the brand-new Lava Lounge at Rainforest Café. Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs!)  fans like me will love this place. The setting couldn’t be more perfect. It’s right on the waterfront, which is something I loved. The entrance is themed like a cave entering the side of the volcano.

Lava Lounge

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Not your average lounge lizard – the Lava Lounge has an animatronic crocodile in the front! He wakes up every few minutes to growl and show you his teeth. The kids were standing around in awe looking at this thing.

That’s not all! Without even trying the food here yet – I can tell you two of my favorite things about this place so far:

1. There was a wait to dine inside at Rainforest Café, but at the Lava Lounge, seating is first-come, first-served.

2. Not only can you order from the full Rainforest Café menu, but there’s also a special menu featuring items created just for the Lava Lounge!

With cool names for the assorted dishes such as “Volcanic Sliders”, “Tectonic Tacos”, and something called “The Jungle Runner” as a signature drink – how can you go wrong? There are lots of choices on the menu, so chances are there’s something everyone in your party will enjoy.


Don’t let the “Lounge” title throw you off; it’s a space for all kinds of groups. The animals inside will be great for conversation, and may give you a chance to teach the kids something new.

Lava Lounge Monkey Lava Lounge Bird

For even more fun, The Rainforest Café Volcano erupts multiple times each evening with a sizzling display of flame spires, fireballs, steam bursts and fog that erupts in sync with a light and sound show. It is really impressive, and you can see, hear and even feel it from inside the Lava Lounge.  It’s the sort of thing you’d only expect to see at a Disney theme park…or maybe Las Vegas. Check out this cool video!

So have you tried the Lava Lounge yet? What did you think?


World Secret – How to get a free sandwich in Downtown Disney

Published March 19, 2013 by



Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? ME. I am one of those people who looks for the fine print and thinks there always has to be a catch.

There are some great posts and articles all over the internet about cheap eats at Walt Disney World – but how often do you hear about anything being completely free?

Today I found a World Secret that I thought was pretty special – an offer for a FREE sandwich. The catch – it’s only good during the month of your birthday.


Earl of Sandwich is located in Downtown Disney Marketplace. The very first store was opened here in Orlando by a direct descendant of the actual guy who invented what we now know as sandwiches – back in 1762. Carrying on the family tradition, The Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney is dedicated to bringing you “the world’s greatest hot sandwich.”

You may have heard the sound of rejoicing when Disney food lovers every where got the news that the Earl in Downtown Disney began offering the Holiday Turkey Sandwich year round. Some have said it really is the “world’s greatest” or more specifically as holiday heaven on a bun. To us rookies who haven’t yet tried it, it is basically turkey, stuffing, cranberry, and a little mayo served toasted on a freshly baked roll.

Sounds AWESOME to me, but maybe it doesn’t sound like your favorite?

No problem, Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace offers a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, ice cream, smoothies, lemonade, boxed lunches, and prepared “Grab & Go” items. Breakfast offerings include several cold items as well as hot breakfast sandwiches.

Already a pretty great value, most sandwiches here are right around $6.99. But enough of that – let’s get on with the FREE part!

All you need to do to get your FREE sandwich from Earl is sign up for The eClub. Once you do that, you get a printable voucher a few weeks before your birthday. You have your entire birthday month to print and use it. Just like all of their sandwiches, your birthday sandwich will come wrapped in gold foil – like some sort of wonderful smelling currency.

Here is the fine print, in case you are little skeptical like me, and don’t want to have to squint later:

We (Earl of Sandwich) respect your privacy and will not rent or sell your information. By providing your email address you are opting-in to receive emails from Earl of Sandwich and all other restaurant concepts under the Earl of Sandwich (USA), LLC brand of companies. You may opt out of this list at any time.”

Click HERE to sign up for your free birthday sandwich!

Oh, and if you can’t come to Downtown Disney during your birthday month – Earl has places all over the country where you can get your free birthday sandwich. Hopefully there is one near you.

My friend Heidi is celebrating her birthday today and she just so happened to post about Earl too! You can read her blog here!
Hers has lots of yummy food descriptions and photos. Mmmmm….I am hungry.

So what are your thoughts? Have you gotten a free sandwich from Earl or was this the first time you heard about this particular World Secret?


FREE Activity in Downtown Disney Until December 1, 2012

Published November 6, 2012 by

Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality
Back on  September 1, Disney introduced”Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality.” This is located in Downtown Disney. Adults and kids can participate in this FREE augmented reality offering. The experience is located next to Bongos Cuban Café.  The way it works is you actually step onto a platform and virtually interact with Phineas, Ferb, Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Agent P (in their animated forms) on a screen above. Expect to get any one of 20 different interactions, from dancing “The Platypus Walk” to getting caught in Dr. Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s Freeze-inator. When the interaction is over you can  digitally share a souvenir photo of your adventure with family and friends. This is also FREE!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, of course, special “Phineas & Ferb” merchandise will also be available to purchase.

“Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality” will run through December 1, and is open from 2-9:30 p.m., daily. Here is a great video from Attractions Magazine to demonstrate how it all works!

Festival of the Masters (FREE!) Begins November 9, 2012

Published October 30, 2012 by

I’ve been called many things but “refined” and “cultured” aren’t adjectives that have been used very often. That’s probably one reason why the Festival of the Masters has not really been on my radar until this year. One of my friends is really excited about this event because she is a person who really appreciates fine art. She is also an AMAZING artist herself!  So, of course, I will be heading to check out the Festival this year and I am really excited to share this experience with her (and you!) . Perhaps some of her “culture” will rub off on me!

Besides – many activities, as well as parking at Downtown Disney are FREE! That’s a great price if you ask me!

From Disney:

“The 37th Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels is a vibrant, open-air fine arts festival in the Downtown Disney area, held November 9-11, 2012. Featuring award-winning artists, this world-renowned show is a highly anticipated annual event for Guests, artists, collectors and art lovers.
Discover fun for the entire family, including:
Dazzling displays of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more
Hands-on activities for Guests of all ages and interests
Live musical performances
Unique shopping opportunities—from fine art to Disney collectibles

Whether you’re seeking a colorful day amid Disney magic or a spectacular piece for your personal collection, you’ll discover a variety of delightful experiences at Festival of the Masters presented by Michaels.

— Marketplace
• Family Interactive Activities:
o Disney Interactive –Showcasing Epic Mickey and the Power of 2
o Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – Kids can make their own Sundae magnet.
o LEGO® – Join in the fun as you help a real LEGO Master Builder to construct an 8-ft tall Hulk™ model for the first time!
o Rainforest Cafe® – Experience the joy of watching tropical birds as they perform for you
• NEW! Emerging Masters – Get a glimpse of more than 30 up-and-coming artists as they display their unique talents.
• The Florida Chalk Artists Association – Street Painters from the Florida Chalk Artists Association will cover over 1,000 square feet of sidewalk! The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday at 3pm at the Waterside Stage
• Art of Disney – Our flagship store at the Marketplace full of art from the Disney Masters! Artist appearances will be scheduled throughout the weekend. In addition, this location will present a unique offering by artist Dave Avanzino, giving them the opportunity to have their name made into a custom art using letters found around the Disney Theme Parks
• Michaels® – Make It Take It – Duct Tape Craft – Who knew duct take could be this fun? Visit the Michaels exhibit near the Waterside Stage to create your very own luggage tag take home craft.

Pleasure Island
• Disney Artist Village – This location will be immersed with character art created by our own Disney Masters from Disney Design Group, Yellow Shoes, WDI, Acme Archives Limited and local Disney licensed artists. See original works of art, giclées, prints, one-of-a-kind Vinylmation and the opportunity to meet the artists behind the creativity
• Michaels® Master Mural – It’s your turn to take center stage in the creation of this Disney masterpiece! Join the Michaels team as together we bring to life a masterful work of art…piece by piece!
• Fuego – Come play dominoes! Three custom domino tables will be available for play
• Curl – See several artists create a masterpiece on a pair of TOMS shoes
• Irish Artwork at Raglan Road™ Irish Pub and Restaurant – Check out the designs of Graham Knuttle, a renowned Irish painter and sculptor.

West Side
• Michaels® – Make-it Take-it – Mickey Ear Wood Framing Experience – It’s time to get creative! Design and take home your very own Mickey Ear Wood Frame with a personalized artistic touch. Let your imagination take the wheel with this fun experience designed for families and children of all ages.
• D-Street – Home of Disney Vinylmation; a uniquely shaped three dimensional pallet with creative design from many of our talented Disney artists. Whether you collect or trade, make sure you stop by to see the newest collections
• Cirque du Soleil – Complimentary face painting by a La Nouba artist Friday and Saturday noon – 4pm and live performances by La Nouba performers 4:00pm to 4:30pm
• House of Blues® Folk Art Festival – See grassroots and funk art at its finest, presented by approximately 35 local and national folk artists.
• Disney Art Tent – View a variety of art styles featuring beloved Disney Characters, presented by featured artists.”

For even more info on the festival click here and here.

Guest Review: Downtown Disney AMC Dine-in Theater

Published May 2, 2012 by

This guest review is written by Laura Smeltzer who has been a friend of mine for about 20 years. Laura is a mother-to-be and if it’s one thing expectant Mommies know (speaking from my own experience)…it’s FOOD! If you watch the slide show long enough, you will see Laura’s picture. Laura paid a recent visit to AMC Downtown Disney 24 which is an AMC Dine-in theater location and I asked her to share her experience. Questions or comments about this blog can be posted here and I will make sure they get to Laura.

Have a magical day!

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AMC Dining Experience
“I have done the dining experience twice at Disney. Both times I went online and reserved my ticket. This was nice because you chose the seat you will be sitting in.
As you enter the theater there is an attendant to help you find your seat. Each row contains 4 seats. The seats are roomy and comfortable. There is a small table that runs the length of the row and a button on the table for each seat. When you are ready to order you push the button and wait for a server.
My first experience my husband and I attended the movie as a date night. As soon as we were seated our server approached and took our drink order. While waiting for our drinks we were able to look over the menu and decide on what we wanted. For appetizer we ordered the fried mozzarella batons. For dinner I ordered the chicken fingers and my husband ordered the Southwest Chicken wrap.
Our appetizer came out as the movie was beginning. The mozzarella was hot and crisp and very tasty. The serving is enough for two to three people. Small amount of marinara sauce came with the sticks. It was the right amount for us but if you are someone who enjoys marinara sauce ask for an extra serving.
Right as we finished our appetizer our meal came out. My husband enjoyed his wrap. He said it tasted fresh and was the perfect amount for dinner. I wish I could say the same about the chicken tenders. The fries that came with the chicken was delicious. The chicken tenders were sub par to say the least. I have bought better chicken tenders from the freezer section of the grocery store. I realize that I am paying more for the experience but $12 for chicken tenders, well, I would have preferred fresh tenders.
We never once had to ask for a refill. We finished our dinner about half way during the movie and decided to order a small popcorn. This was brought very quickly.
While eating a very low light stays on that runs the length of the table. At first I thought this would be disruptive to the movie but I didn’t notice it at all during the movie. Near the end of the movie I noticed our check was laying on the table. My husband paid with a credit card and handed back to the server. There was no distraction at all to the movie with the handling of paying for dinner.

I was so pleased with the overall experience that I recommended to a few friends of mine as a girls night out.
Sadly to say our experience was completely different.
We arrived and found our seats and decided on our drinks. We pushed the buttons and waited…..and waited…and waited. The server came up as the previews were starting and took our drink order and appetizer order…..I again ordered the mozzarella batons.
After a short time we placed our order for dinner. I ordered the Tuscan Pepperoni Flatbread Pizza, my friends ordered the fish and chips basket and the classic Chicken Quesadilla.
My friends Fish and chip basket came out first, even before my mozzarella sticks. About 15 minutes into the movie and about 5 minutes after the fish and chips came out the mozzarella stick arrived. We finished the mozzarella sticks and the chicken quesadilla arrived. By the time that both of my friends finished their dinner the flat bread pizza came out. Overall the food was delicious!!!! Each of us had hot fresh food that was tasty….however, I was disappointed that even though we ordered everything at the same time that it all came out separate.
The rest of the experience was the same as before and very pleasant. The servers were not distracting from the movie and paying for the bill was very simple.
At first my husband said he felt it was quite a pricey experience, however, after we thought about it we agreed that it would be about the same cost as if we had gone to a restaurant first and then a movie.In the future we do plan on attending again and trying different food.”

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